Tai Chi Chuan – May the Force Be With You
OK, really, this will not be a religious treatise.
I am more and more interested in the form as a result of forces. I am not interested in the form as a series of shapes or pathways to those shapes, or even soft shapes or soft pathway to those shapes.
Is that you?
What else is there?
Here are a few images that I like to think about, at least in terms of meaning, though not in terms of literal execution. These are metaphoric, not prescriptive.
Like, you are a marionette puppet, and you are moved by strings by someone else.
Like, you are an amoeba that morphs from one shapeless shape to another floating in an aqueous solution.
So too you are a basketball, being tossed from here to there, affected by gravity as well as your own innate buoyancy, as well as those that throw you here and there and dribble you down the court.
You are a hot air balloon that drifts along the sky.
You are the result of forces outside of yourself and inside of yourself. In one very real sense, the postures you make are not entirely from a decision to make a posture. The posture does not make the posture. Even a soft posture does not make a soft posture. Nor does the pathway make its own pathway.
All of this is the result of forces at your disposal. You don’t “do” a posture, you orchestrate forces that allow a posture to exist, to arrive, to morph into that shape, to release into the shape you want created.
Of course, these metaphors do not have mind.
So to extend the metaphors a bit, you are the puppet and the puppeteer. Can the puppet exist without the puppeteer?
You are the basketball and all the players and the court. Can you really exist without those players and the court?
You are the aqueous solution that supports and allows that amoeba to glide here and there. Can you be separate from that aqueous solution?
You are the source of heat and the pilot on the hot air balloon who steers the craft as you embrace air and space. Does a hot air balloon float without the heat? Or maneuver in space without some sort of driver at the helm?
There is mind guidance. But the tools that you have at your disposal create the actual physical act of each posture. Your tools are air, ground, gravity, the upward structure of the body, relaxation, the buoyancy of the body, momentum, the spiralic architecture of the muscles, the ball and socket architecture of the joints, the innate ability of the body to communicate within itself and place itself in space with awareness.
We don’t “do” a shape; we don’t “do” a movement. We let forces take care of that. We are never still or fixed or truly static. We are fluid, releasing, morphing, becoming one piece, becoming many pieces. We use our mind to connect these forces. We are not separate from these forces. The forces are us. These forces DO us!
Too much mind: All doing, and all function; Too little mind: yes, perhaps Non-doing, but no function.
If you do a posture, or a pathway, you are missing the big picture.
This is an aspiration I want to embody.